Taming Summer Bedtimes: 3 Tips You Need

Taming Summer Bedtimes

Summer is fully upon us, readers! But while warm temps and fun outdoor activities are great, those long, lazy days of summer may be seriously messing with your baby or toddler’s inner sleep clock. Over the summer, many babies start crying at bedtime and resisting sleep even more than usual. It’s also common for toddlers to stop staying in bed and falling asleep much later, trying to tell you, “I’m not tired!”

So frustrating – but not really unexpected, if you think about it. The sun goes down so late these days, and since your baby or toddler can’t exactly read the clock, it’s no wonder your little one is resisting bedtime. It just doesn’t feel like bedtime, with all that bright light streaming through the windows!

Today, we’ll take a look at how you can “tame” the summer bedtime beast, and help get your baby or toddler to bed at a reasonable hour. Keep reading for details!

Taming Summer Bedtimes: Maybe Your Baby Or Toddler Really Isn’t Tired

Now, it’s important to remember that there are two possible reasons your baby or toddler is resisting her normal bedtime over the summer:

  • Your baby or toddler really is tired and ready for sleep, but is fighting it due to long summer days and fun summer playtime.
  • Your baby or toddler really isn’t tired at her usual bedtime; the longer days and shorter nights have reset her internal clock.

It’s important to make the distinction, because each of these demands a different response.

Taming Summer Bedtimes For Your Baby or Toddler

Once you know why your baby or toddler is resisting bedtime more than usual this summer, you can decide how to respond.

If you think your baby or toddler really isn’t tired enough for bed at his usual bedtime, then one option to deal with the bedtime delay is to simply embrace them. Set up a “downtime” routine in the evening, in which your baby or toddler works on puzzles, looks at book, or does some other quiet activities. Set bedtime 30 minutes to an hour later than usual, and allow this quiet time to be a long, slow wind-down before you finally put your child to bed. Doing this will reduce frustration for both of you.

Just keep in mind that even with a later bedtime, toddlers in particular may still resist. If your child is testing you, make sure you set firm limits for your toddler and return him promptly to bed, without much interaction. Anything too positive or too negative will make it a game and he will continue to be a “jack in the box.”

If you know that your baby or toddler really IS tired at her normal bedtime, but is simply resisting sleep, then you’ll definitely want to take steps to get your child in bed at the usual time, in order to ward off overtiredness. Here are two things you can try to make sure bedtime happens when it’s supposed to happen:

  • Have your child nap earlier: Depending on the age of your baby, you can try shifting naps earlier so your baby or toddler is more tired at bedtime, which (ideally) will mean she will sleep regardless of the sun being up. (Of course, you don’t want to time the nap so early that your child is overtired by bedtime…it’s a delicate balance.)
  • Darken your child’s room: To promote an earlier bedtime, AND sleeping later in the morning, try darkening your child’s room using room-darkening shades. Be advised, however, that the results of darkening your child’s sleep environment aren’t instantaneous. You need to start your quiet and darkened activities up to an hour before bedtime, and you need to allow at least a few days or a week the room-darkening to re-set your baby’s sleep clock. It can be difficult to fool our bodies into thinking it is dark at bedtime, when it’s not, but with consistency, it can help. Having a darkened room does extend night sleep later in the morning, too, since those room-darkening shades will prevent early-morning sunlight from waking your child.

Late Summer Bedtimes and Summertime Traveling

Now, keep in mind that if you plan to travel this summer, having a later bedtime can definitely make it easier to soak in the sun and enjoy all the people and sites at your destination. So keep this in mind if you really do think your child can get by with a later bedtime, and if you have lots of summer travel plans. You can actually make the later bedtime work for you, in these cases.

If you do embrace a later summer bedtime, know that when summer ends, bedtimes will (most likely) naturally get earlier again. As summer turns to fall, you’ll want to watch for cues that your baby or toddler is getting overtired, such as more crankiness or behavior problems, waking up even earlier in the morning, or numerous night wakings, and set bedtime accordingly.

Note that if you “lean in” to these shifts in bedtime (allowing bedtime to be later in the summer, and then reeling it back in once summer ends), you may have a few days of transition time in which your baby or toddler seems a little bit cranky or out of sorts as she adjusts to the new schedule.

Baby and Toddler Sleep Help: The Summertime Edition!

Baby and toddler sleep problems don’t discriminate between seasons – as many of you know, sleep deprivations strikes 365 days a year! But the long days of summer can present unique sleep challenges. Fortunately, we can help!Our consultants at The Baby Sleep Site® specialize in creating Personalized Sleep Plans™ that are customized to your own parenting philosophy, and that will NEVER make you feel guilty or pressured. Even better, once you have your Personalized Sleep Plan™, your consultant will walk you through each step of implementing it at home.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Need help with summer bedtimes and naps? Ask your baby and toddler sleep questions below – we’ll answer!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 

Need help knowing where to start? Visit our Help Me Choose page for helping choosing the Baby Sleep Site® resources that are right for you.

Night Weaning vs. Sleep Training: Which Should Come First?

Night Weaning Sleep Training

For many of the exhausted families with whom we work, night weaning and sleep training are both high on the list of priorities. After all, constant night feeds can exhaust even the strongest parents, and a baby who can’t fall asleep independently is one who will wake too early from a nap, or wake during the night due to sleep associations, and not out of true hunger.

So yeah…when it comes to night weaning and sleep training, most parents would say, “Both, please!”. But this raises an interesting question – should one come before the other? Our team of consultants discussed this question recently, and we thought you’d really enjoy getting a peek into their answers!

Keep reading to learn which you should work on first: night weaning or sleep training!

Night Weaning vs. Sleep Training: Usually, Sleep Training Comes First

Let’s cut right to the chase: typically, we recommend working on sleep training first. When our team of consultants create Personalized Sleep Plans™ for the families with whom they work, they typically put night weaning after sleep training in the day-by-day section of the plan. Why? Because when a baby is able to fall asleep independently, without needing any help from mom or dad in the form of sleep associations, most families find that night waking decreases dramatically, and that some of the “night feedings” (that were actually just plain old night wakings) disappear on their own.

See, when a baby knows how to fall asleep without help at bedtime, or at the start of a nap, then he can go BACK to sleep when he wakes at night between sleep cycles (and doesn’t need a feeding), or in the middle of a nap. So if your baby is in the habit of waking frequently at night, odds are many of those night wakings will disappear via the process of sleep training.

Then, once you’ve worked on helping your baby learn to fall asleep independently at bedtime, and when you’ve worked on helping your baby fall back to sleep independently after night wakings, you can start to work on the process of night weaning, IF you and your baby are ready to drop feedings.

For more information on sleep coaching your baby, check out these resources:

Night Weaning vs. Sleep Training: 4 Times To Try Night Weaning BEFORE Sleep Training

While most families do best starting with sleep training and then moving on to night weaning – but in some situations, it’s actually best to reverse that process and start with night weaning first. Those situations include…

  1. …medical reasons. In some rare situations, parents are faced with a medical scenario in which they have to wean from breastfeeding immediately. For instance, we’ve worked with moms who, after a cancer diagnosis, have to wean before undergoing chemotherapy. In situations like these (and depending on baby’s age), it usually makes sense to wean from night feedings while you’re in the process of weaning to formula (if your child is 12 months or younger and still needs formula). Of course, if your baby still needs 1 or more age-based night feedings, keep those – but this is a great time to work on reducing any unnecessary night feedings.
  2. …a toddler who wakes ONLY for 1-2 feedings a night. While some toddlers have serious sleep problems, we’ve worked with many toddler families whose only real problem was one or two night feedings that they wished to get rid of. In these cases, the toddlers usually fall asleep fine at bedtime, wake up to feed once or twice, go right back to sleep on their own, and then sleep until morning. In cases like these, since there are no real sleep problems aside from the night feedings, it makes sense to work on gradually night weaning.
  3. …families who want to continue sharing a bed. We see this fairly often – attachment families who want to continue to share a family bed want to reduce or eliminate night feedings, but don’t want to transition baby to a crib. In these cases, what the parents want is a period of sustained sleep without feedings, so it makes sense to start with night weaning, and to teach baby to fall back to sleep without going to the breast. To do this, we usually create a special bed-sharing day-by-day plan that teaches mom and dad how to gradually help baby fall back to sleep after a night waking without needing to nurse.
  4. …babies who are always fed during every night waking. Now, this one is less sure-fire than the other 3, as it can be hard to distinguish exactly when night feeding has become a deeply-ingrained habits. But simply put, if you ALWAYS feed your baby EVERY time she wakes, then you may want to start offering other forms of comfort during night wakings, before you start actually sleep training. As one of our consultants put it, “If a family has never, ever tried offering a pacifier at 2 a.m. instead of a feeding, or simply holding and patting the baby, instead of feeding, then we usually start off trying that.” Honestly, you’d be amazed at how just this small change to the usual routine can help decrease night wakings, and can provide a great start to sleep coaching!

For more information about night weaning your baby, take a look at these resources:

Sleep Training? Night Weaning? We Can Help With Both!

Sleep coaching can be tough enough on its own – but if you are also working on night weaning, then you may have more than you can cope with on your own! That’s where our team of consultants can help. Our consultants at The Baby Sleep Site® specialize in creating Personalized Sleep Plans™ that are customized to your own parenting philosophy, and that will NEVER make you feel guilty or pressured. Your plan will include everything you need to know about how to help you baby sleep through the night, and how to wean your baby from night feeding. Even better, once you have your Personalized Sleep Plan™, your consultant will walk you through each step of implementing it at home.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Questions about sleep training and night weaning? Ask below! Tips or suggestions for other parents about how to night wean or sleep train? Share them with us!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 

Need help knowing where to start? Visit our Help Me Choose page for helping choosing the Baby Sleep Site® resources that are right for you.

5 Reasons To Start Sleep Training TODAY

Sleep Training

Let me be clear: when to sleep train is a personal choice, that’s heavily dependent on a lot of unique factors. There is not age when all parents “should” sleep train, and while there are sleep training windows that tend to be better for sleep training, and help the process move along smoothly, we always caution parents not to feel pressured to sleep coach during or by a certain time frame.

That said – we hear almost daily from parents who are beyond exhausted, whose families are losing precious sleep, whose nerves are fraying, whose work performance is suffering – and who are putting off sleep training. And most of the time, their reasons for putting it off are something along these lines:

  • I don’t even know how or where to begin!
  • I don’t have the energy to sleep train…I’m just too tired.
  • I already know it won’t go well; my child just isn’t a “good” sleeper.

Well, we’ve learned from experience that sometimes, parents who are stalling on sleep training (even though they are incredibly tired and sleep-deprived!) simply need a pep talk to get them going. And that’s just what we’re providing today! Read on for 5 reasons it’s time to stop putting off sleep coaching, and start working on sleep today.

5 Reasons To Stop Putting Off Sleep Training TODAY

  1. There is no “perfect time” for sleep training.
  2. Our consultants have talked with sooooo many parents who are putting off sleep training because they are waiting for the right time. Waiting for the 4 month sleep regression to pass, waiting for their baby to start solids, waiting until a bout of teething is over, etc. But here’s the thing: in general, the “perfect” time to sleep train is right now! Sure, you want to hold off on sleep training if your child is ill, or if you have a vacation coming up, or a big transition (like moving to a new house). However, if you have a few weeks where you’ll be staying at home and not having many schedule interruptions, and if your child is healthy, then guess what? That’s a great time to sleep train!

  3. The first step is always the hardest to take – but once it’s done, it tends to get easier!
  4. We hear from many, many parents that they are itching to sleep train, but that they don’t know where to start. Should they start working on bedtime and naps at the same time? What time of day is best to begin? Should they start on a weekday, or over the weekend? What kind of sleep training method is best for them? How can they know if their plan is working nor not? These are such good questions, but they can feel daunting when you’re a tired parent who’s trying to map out a sleep training plan. Fortunately, we have a team of expert consultants standing by who specialize in helping tired families get started with their Personalized Sleep Plan™. We’ve also had a lot of overwhelmed parents find great success with our Express Sleep Plan™ – it’s a budget-friendly sleep plan that’ll tell you exactly how to get started with sleep training, and provide you with step-by-step daily instructions.

  5. Being “too tired” to sleep train is precisely the reason you SHOULD sleep train!
  6. This really becomes a circular, chicken-and-egg sort of issue: being exhausted and sleep-deprived makes you realize you should really work on sleep training, but they all that stored-up tiredness makes you feel too worn out to sleep train! But here’s the thing to remember: the fact that you’re super-tired is a great indicator that you should sleep train 😉 What Nicole usually recommends is that you and your family catch up on sleep as best you can for a few days, so that you have a well-rested start to sleep coaching. That way, you have an energized start to the process. You can read this post about 5 things to do before you start sleep training for more details.

  7. There are many ways to help your child learn to sleep – which means there is a sleep training method that will work for you.
  8. So many parents we hear from tell us that the #1 reason they put off sleep training is because they assume that sleep training = crying. That’s understandable; no one wants to listen to their child wail for hours! But this is actually a really unfortunate myth. The truth is, there are many, many ways to approach sleep training – and many of those approaches involve minimal crying.

  9. Sleep training is not one of those things that gets easier with time….in fact, for many families, the opposite is true.
  10. There are a lot of things that get easier as your child gets older. Once your child can dress himself, brush his own teeth, feed himself breakfast, and buckle himself into the car, your morning looks a whole lot calmer and more relaxed! But unfortunately, sleep training is not something that gets easier with time, for most people. Why? Because sleep habits become entrenched as your child grows, so the baby who gets accustomed to being rocked to sleep becomes the toddler who firmly believes the only way TO fall asleep is being rocked! Add to this the fact that toddlers are generally stubborn little cuties who exert their new-found will and opinions with surprising conviction, and you have a toddler with some troubling sleep associations who absolutely, plainly, without-a-doubt refuses to sleep any other way. And that can make for some tough sleep training. That’s why we recommend sleep training before your child is 12 months old; it’s simply because negative sleep associations are easier to overcome during babyhood.

    BONUS: Okay, so this is technically a sixth reason – but we couldn’t end the article without including it! Here it is: many, many parents are stunned at just how capable their children are of sleeping soundly and napping well…and we bet you will be one of them! I wanted to end with this one, because it’s encouraging. :-) Time and time again, we hear from parents who believe that because their child has never slept well, that means that their child can’t sleep well. They are convinced that putting their child to sleep drowsy, but awake is wasted effort, because their children aren’t capable of self-soothing and falling asleep independently. But you know what? Happily, these parents are almost always proven wrong! Many of these parents tell us later that they were completely surprised at how quickly their child picked up new, healthy sleep habits. And I bet that your child is just the same; even if your little one isn’t showing any signs of knowing how to self-soothe and sleep well now, that doesn’t mean that she can’t. I’ll tell you what our consultants tell their clients: have faith in your child. Your baby or toddler is going to be capable of a lot of great things in her life – including building healthy sleep habits!

Don’t Delay – Start Sleep Training Today!

Between long night wakings, struggles at bedtime and naps that feel all over the place, baby and toddler sleep challenges can feel overwhelming – so overwhelming that it may be tough to start start solving them! Fortunately, we can help! Our consultants at The Baby Sleep Site® specialize in creating Personalized Sleep Plans™ that are customized to your own parenting philosophy, and that will NEVER make you feel guilty or pressured. Even better, once you have your Personalized Sleep Plan™, your consultant will walk you through each step of implementing it at home – including that first, getting-started step.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Have motivating sleep training advice to offer other parents? Share it below! Questions about getting started with sleep training? Ask – we’ll answer!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 

Need help knowing where to start? Visit our Help Me Choose page for helping choosing the Baby Sleep Site® resources that are right for you.

15 Ways To Mess With a Sleep Obsessed Parent

Sleep Obsessed Parent

For parents of little kids, sleep can often feel about as stable as a straw house. One mild breeze and the whole thing can come crashing down in the form of whines, tantrums, frequent night wakings and a bedtime routine that takes longer than running the Boston Marathon.

What makes this all the more frustrating is that we’ve spent so much time and effort building a strong foundation for that delicate structure that any bobble or slight collapse makes us feel like we have to start building all over again. We become the highly underpaid and stressed out General Contractor of a feeble construction site in a bad part of town.

In an effort to avoid total destruction, we sacrifice spending more time at that play date, or staying out late at a family’s party, in order to get our kids to sleep on time. However, a well-meaning friend, family member, or even a spouse who doesn’t realize how fragile this whole sleep operation is can blow an unintentional hurricane into your sleep routine, that will totally sabotage everything you’ve worked so hard to guard against.

And there is not enough plywood and duct tape to protect against that kind of disaster.

So what kinds of “hurricane-force” sleep interruptions should you be on the lookout for? We thought it would be fun to bring you some of the zanier sleep disruptions we’ve heard about over the years. Keep reading for 15 truly crazy ways to mess with a sleep-obsessed parent!

15 Ways To Mess With A Sleep-Obsessed Parent

  1. Choose nap time to start drilling that IKEA desk together.
  2. Start a favorite Disney movie 15 minutes before bedtime.
  3. Ignorantly ring the doorbell, even though there’s a post-it right on the door that politely reads “please knock”.
  4. Suggest going out for ice cream after lunch. When parents explain that nap time happens right after lunch, ask the toddler, “Wouldn’t going for ice cream be more fun than a nap?”
  5. Play hide and seek with the kid’s lovey before nap time, but then immediately forget the last place it was hidden.
  6. Shun a calming bedtime story, like Goodnight Moon, in lieu of something more “exciting”, like The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
  7. Let the kids know that you’ll be catching up on all their favorite cartoons while they sleep.
  8. Decide that nap time would be the perfect time to test the smoke alarms.
  9. Announce before putting the kids down for nap that after they wake up, the whole family will be going to Chuck E. Cheese.
  10. Skip story time before bed, and opt for “trampoline time” on the mattress instead.
  11. Offer to put the kids to bed, and then dress them in pajamas with really scratchy tags on the collar.
  12. Ask the parents if the toddler can have a quick snack before nap time. When parents say yes, offer the toddler a few handfuls of Skittles.
  13. Figure that, since it’s a pretty day, it’s a great time to rev up that motorcycle…and then let it idle forever.
  14. Since the baby looked so tired, assume it’s okay to just let them sleep “for a couple of minutes to take the edge off”, RIGHT before nap time or bedtime. Be sure to hand the baby off to parents only after she’s woken up and is really starting to scream.
  15. Sneak in to give that adorable baby one last, big, noisy smooch before leaving to go home. Be sure to step directly on all the squeaky spots on the floor as you walk out of the room.

Keep in mind that while the occasional “gale force wind” of a sleep interruption may happen, and temporarily destroy the quality sleep you’ve worked so hard to build, interruptions are to be expected every now and then. Such is life. We just hope that your interruptions are a little less “cruel and unusual” than the ones we just listed!

(Oh – and in the meantime, if you want to hand this list out to your family and friends as a “things not to do do unless you want an enemy for life” checklist, we totally understand!)

Sleep Help For The Sleep Obsessed Parent

Even the most sleep-obsessed parent needs a little sleep help now and then. (Okay, maybe LOT of sleep help right now!) That’s where we come in :-) If you need sleep help from an expert, that’s guaranteed to work, we can help! Our team of expert consultants is ready to offer you compassionate, caring support that is 100% personalized to your unique situation. We will craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ specifically for your family, that walks you through every step of the sleep coaching process, in a way that matches your goal and parenting style.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

Okay, confession time – what’s the craziest sleep-sabotaging technique you’ve witnessed? Let’s get the conversation going!

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.
 

5 Facts That Equal Better Toddler Sleep

Better Toddler Sleep

If you have a toddler who just won’t sleep well – who’s popping in and out of bed like a jack-in-the-box at bedtime, for instance, or who still wakes frequently at night, or who just won’t take long, restorative, consistent naps, despite your best efforts – then odds are you’re feeling at your wit’s end, and are looking for any (ANY) ideas that’ll help you get your toddler sleeping better.

Well, look no further! Today, Renee Frances, author of the adorable Good Night Fairy book series, is here with us today, sharing 5 key facts that will help even the most sleepless of toddlers get the rest they need. Read on to learn more about these 5 keys, and to learn how you can enter to win one of 6 copies of Renee’s award-winning book, A Visit From the Good Night Fairy!

5 Facts That Equal Better Toddler Sleep

  1. Consistency is Calming
  2. Your toddler will be more relaxed if she knows what is going to happen next. Predictable schedules and a bedtime routine will set the tone, and help your child to ‘wind down’ before settling into bed. To help your toddler’s body secrete that special ‘sleep hormone’, melatonin, dim the lights and shut off all screens about an hour before you begin your family’s bedtime routine. Ideally, your child’s bed time should not only allow her to get adequate sleep; it should ideally allow you and your partner or spouse a few hours of ‘down time’ without the pitter-patter of little feet.

  3. Deep Breathing is Relaxing
  4. Deep breathing (with focused attention on your breath) is a relaxation exercise that is recognized by the National Sleep Foundation as helpful for people who suffer from insomnia. Interestingly, many children practice ‘deep breathing’ naturally; their chest and bellies naturally expand with each breath. You can help your toddler intentionally practice deep breathing by having them inhale slowly through their nose, holding their breath for a few moments, then exhale through the mouth. This practice should be as “un-forced” and natural as possible.

  5. Awareness of Surroundings Decreases Anxiety
  6. Your child is less likely to be anxious at night if he knows that his surroundings remain unchanged even when the lights are off. Simply installing a nightlight can resolve your little one’s fear of the dark. Sometimes, however, the shadows may be worrisome because their shapes are somewhat unexpected or unfamiliar. To help illustrate the concept that shadows are ‘what happen when light can’t go through an object’, you can show your child how to make a ‘shadow puppet’ with a flashlight and your (or his) hand, or some favourite toys. Show him how the length of the shadow changes with the angle of the light hitting the object. By taking the mystery out of ‘the dark’, you may help your child feel less fearful.

  7. Positive Self-Talk Reduces Stress
  8. Positive self-talk and its counterpart, positive thinking, correlate strongly with many important health benefits, including lower levels of distress, lower levels of depression, and greater psychological and physical well-being. Teaching your child the skill of approaching a challenging or unpleasant situation (and for some toddlers, bedtime is just that!) in a more positive way can have both immediate benefits and long-term effects. Guiding your child through some positive self-talk at bedtime can be an effective tool to help your ‘reluctant sleeper’ to sleep well through the night and have a happier tomorrow.

  9. Rewards Increase the Likelihood of Desired Behaviours
  10. Offering rewards as incentives increases the likelihood of a desired behaviour. Rewards are particularly effective for individuals who are reluctant to perform a ‘target’ behaviour – like a toddler who’s reluctant to go to bed! If the behaviour that you desire is for your child to sleep through the night on her own, reward that behaviour when it happens. In preparation, your child should know that staying in her own room throughout the night may result in a reward.

How A Visit From The Good Night Fairy Can Help Your Toddler Sleep

A Visit From The Good Night FairyA Visit from the Good Night Fairy weaves all 5 of these key facts throughout the storyline, making it a great bedtime tool for your toddler This clever and engaging tale unfolds with a typical night in the life of a young family, whose little one seems to have some common night time fears. This night is special, however, because after waking up early and finding her child still in his own bed, Mommy has a chance encounter with the “Good Night Fairy” herself, who places a small gift at the foot of the still-sleeping child’s bed!

You can use the themes in this story to your advantage. Be prepared to reward your child the on the very first occasion that he successfully sleeps through the night on his own. The reward should something that your toddler enjoys (e.g., a sticker or a coin), and it can be left for him at the foot of the bed (as the Good Night Fairy does), under the pillow, or even near the bedroom door, if you are afraid your child may wake up if you enter the room.

To ensure that your child understands the connection between sleeping through the night and the gift from the Good Night Fairy (named REMy, after the Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleep), reward the first two or three nights that he successfully sleeps through on his own (this is known as a Continuous Schedule of Reinforcement). After a few nights, switch to a Partial Schedule of Reinforcement, during which your toddler will need to sleep two (or three) nights in a row before receiving a reward. Partial schedules of reinforcement use fewer resources, are very effective, and more likely to help your toddler make sleeping through the night a permanent habit. (Note that it’s important that your child does not receive a reward unless he actually sleeps through the night on his own.)

After your child is sleeping on his own for 5-7 consecutive nights, leave your child with a note from ‘REMy’, congratulating him for being such a ‘big kid’. The Good Night Fairy might add that she will still make sure that your child is safe and well through the night, but will no longer leave gifts (which are for children who really need the REMy’s help).

How To Win One Of 6 Copies Of A Visit From The Good Night Fairy

A Visit From The Good Night FairyThe techniques discussed above have been clinically proven to soothe, relax, empower, decrease anxiety, and increase the likelihood of desired behaviour – which means they’re perfect tools to use with your bedtime-resistant toddler! Renee’s adorable book, A Visit from the Good Night Fairy, incorporates each of these five tools: a consistent bedtime routine, deep breathing, positive self-talk, use of a night light, and positive reinforcement. This Mom’s Choice Award-winning children’s picture book just may be the perfect tool to help motivate your child to have a more restful night’s sleep.

And we bet that whether you have a sleep-fighting toddler at home right now, or whether you want to be ready for the day when your wee babe becomes a sleep-fighting toddler, you’ll want to take advantage of this chance to win a FREE copy of your own! Best of all, Renee has graciously agreed to personalize each winning copy with a special note for your family.

Here are the details:

  • Enter to win any time between 8 a.m EDT, Monday, March 23rd and 8 p.m. EDT, Monday, March 30th.
  • This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian entrants only.
  • Winners must be willing to provide a mailing address for prize shipment.

Enter to win today, using the Rafflecopter widget below:

d123276e569e4632569136ede7781896As a teacher, businesswoman, wife, and a mom of two lovely young girls, Renee Frances can appreciate the importance of a good night’s sleep! Inspired (read: exhausted) by real-life events, Renee penned “A Visit from the Good Night Fairy” with the hopes of helping more little-ones (and their family members!) sleep through the night on their own.
 
 

Resources For ALL Your Baby And Toddler Sleep Challenges

No matter what sleep challenges you’re facing, our team of expert sleep consultants can help! We’re standing by, ready to craft a Personalized Sleep Plan™ just for your family, that’s tailored to your unique challenges, goals, and lifestyle.

Browse our list of consultation package options here.

Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. You’ll be able to login and start your Family Sleep History form right away – it’s that simple!

Want more information about how personalized help works? Check out our FAQ page here, and get answers. You can also take a tour of the Helpdesk.

 
bss_email_featprod_memberspic-CROPPEDOur Members Area is packed with exclusive content and resources: e-Books, assessments, detailed case studies, expert advice, peer support, and more. It actually costs less to join than buying products separately! As a member, you’ll also enjoy a weekly chat with an expert sleep consultant. And the best part – members receive 20% off all sleep consultation services!
 
Essential Keys to Newborn Sleep Essential Keys to Your Newborn’s Sleep is THE newborn sleep book that will help you to not only improve your newborn’s sleep using gentle, sleep-inducing routines – it will also answer your feeding and newborn care questions. You can even buy a bundle package that includes the e-book AND a Personalized Sleep Plan™ PLUS a follow-up email to use for further support!
 
bss_ebook_3stepsystem_leftFor those persistent nighttime struggles, check out The 3 Step System to Help Your Baby Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your baby sleep through the night.
 
 
bss_ebook_masteringnaps_leftIf you’re looking for ways to get your baby or toddler into a healthy sleeping routine during the day, I encourage you to explore Mastering Naps and Schedules, a comprehensive guide to napping routines, nap transitions, and all the other important “how-tos” of good baby sleep. With over 45 sample sleep schedules and planning worksheets, Mastering Naps and Schedules is a hands-on tool ideal for any parenting style.
 
bss_ebook_5steptoddler_smalFor those persistent toddler sleep struggles, check out The 5 Step System to Help Your Toddler Sleep. Using the same unique approach and practical tools for success, this e-book helps you and your toddler sleep through the night and enjoy a better daytime schedule.